Keeping It Real For You

“A good selfie is when you successfully capture the feeling of that very moment!” 
Anamika Mishra

 

Yesterday I ventured out into the world for the first time in weeks. This flu has really laid me low, and I’m still far from well but yesterday Ben, Cafe Dog and I went out to check the mail at our post box, to food shop for his mum and to grab a quick coffee.

Harry Dog was thrilled to finally leave the house too. Me? I was not quite with it, but grateful to be dressed and upright.

Makeup and hair styling? All too hard. I was clean, I smelled okay, and I’d swapped pyjamas for going-out clothes. As far as I’m concerned that’s a win!

We were out for less than an hour, by which time I was completely exhausted, but it was worth it to feel like part of the human race again.

I know. I can hear you saying it. I’m damaging my personal brand with these awful selfies. First it was thigh gap, and now real and unadulterated images of me feeling crappy and fluey and still quite horrid (and still with bad hair, wrinkles and oldness).

Oh well.

I’m really a bit over all of these images and stories in my social media feed about how to lose weight, look younger, have bigger boobs, fewer wrinkles, smaller thighs (or thigh gap!) or whiter teeth, and all of those images of perfectly happy people having perfectly wonderful lives.

Does your life look like that?

Mine doesn’t. And sweethearts it is absolutely fine if yours doesn’t either.

Today I want you to embrace yourself just as you are. Give yourself a hug or a virtual high-five from me if you’ve turned up for life today – no matter how hard things are right now. Give yourself an elephant stamp if you managed some personal hygiene. Have a gold star if you accomplished something on your list. Kind to yourself or others? Seriously – you deserve a medal! That’s the world I want to live in. I want a world filled with people who are honest and vulnerable and real – who show up courageously when life is hard, who reach out to others when they have the strength to do so, and who ask for help when they are struggling to manage on their own.

Let’s be kind to all those people with perfectly curated social media lives too. Because I can guarantee you that behind those images will be the same kinds of health dramas, money problems, relationship issues, depression, anxiety and ‘stuff’ that all the rest of us experience. They were just careful to edit those bits out before they put their life on display.

That’s one gift that chronic illness has given me – I’ve realised what matters, and it certainly isn’t about living my life to impress other people.

Lovelies, let’s agree to just keep being ourselves and to support others to be themselves too. Doesn’t that take off an enormous amount of pressure? Without that pressure we’ve freed up untold energy to put to much more constructive uses. Hooray for that. Hooray for real.

Biggest hugs to you from my personal-brand trashing self, Nicole xx

 

 

Progress! All the little things that add up…

Image from zpply

Image from zpply

“Progress, however, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.” ~ Samuel Smiles

Are you one of those impatient types? You know what I’m talking about. You start the diet Monday and expect to have a visible transformation by the end of the week. You begin a wealth creation program and a month later you’re disappointed to learn you’re only a little better off than you were at the start. You make changes and then wonder if this new thing is worth sticking with when there isn’t an obvious result yet.

I know I’m stating the obvious here, but MOST CHANGE TAKES TIME.

Sometimes the increments of change are so minute that from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, it just doesn’t look like all that much is happening.

And sadly, because of that, too many of us give up. We stop following the diet, going to the gym, putting words on the page or whatever else it was that was supposedly plodding us towards our goals.

Because who ever wants to just plod?

But here’s the thing. If you keep plodding along, eventually when you look back over your shoulder you’ll realise you’ve travelled quite a distance from where you first started out.

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Here’s my latest milestones in my recovery from Lyme Disease. It’s given me so much encouragement to grasp that I AM making progress, even if I still feel tired, unwell and quite wretched very often.

  • Almost no chest pain. I have been acutely aware of my heart since my first heart attack in 2009, because I could feel it under my ribs and it hurt! I couldn’t hunch my shoulders, turn over in bed some nights or lie on my side because of how much pain it caused. In the last few months the pain has largely abated.
  • I can walk up hills. Slowly, but I can!
  • I can climb stairs.
  • I can handle hot weather better. My body is thermo-regulating and my heart is behaving. I don’t need oxygen.
  • I can put numbers into order, and file my bank statements. This has eluded me for years, since my last really bad lapse in 2002 which threatened to put me into a nursing home, so bad had my cognitive decline become.
  • I can do simple sums in my head.
  • I don’t feel like I am about to die.
  • I no longer feel like someone is digging a pitchfork into my head and twisting it viciously to get my attention.
  • I can bend over without passing out.
  • I can stand up quickly without passing out.
  • I can balance on one leg.
  • I can shut my eyes and not fall over.
  • I am physically stronger.
  • My vocabulary has increased.
  • I can prioritize and make lists.
  • My memory has improved.

Sure there’s heaps of stuff that could still work better in me. I acknowledge I have a long way to go. But when I think of where I was two years ago my improvement is actually quite astounding.

How about you? Are you making changes and sticking with them? Can you identify any tiny milestones? Sometimes when we’re looking at where we are now, we lose sight of how far we’ve already come.

I really want to encourage you not to give up. Even if from day to day it appears pointless. Even if it seems that what you’re doing is insignificant.

Most of my gorgeous clients who are ‘overnight successes’ slaved away unrecognised and unrewarded for years.

All that plodding and not giving up will get you where you want to go. And I promise the view will be magnificent. Hang in there! Much love, ♥ Nicole xx

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